On West Girard in Brewerytown, a number of ongoing renovations are poised to contribute to the renewal of the commercial corridor. Perhaps the most endearing project is the conversion of the slightly bruised historic former St. Augustine Church, built in 1888, on the northwest corner at 27th & Girard, into residential units.

Just across the street at 2710 W. Girard Ave. we spotted permits indicating some nature of work is on the way. Upon further inspection, permits first issued in 2011 to use the second- and third-floor for apartments with ground-floor commercial and were reissued in January this year.  The storefront is worn but a little work could reanimate the wood border that frames the retail storefront. Next door, Best in Show Grooming features a sign painted by Philly-bred international artist Steve Powers, who's been painting signs along the West Girard commercial corridor that have begun to illustrate a character all its own.

Another store coming soon?

Looking west on Girard

Aside from having a cool sign, Best in Show is just one of many retail operations to open in the past two years along West Girard. And when Mugshots left their space on the next block and High Point Cafe filled it faster than a leaf fell last fall, it pointed to the growing resurgence that’s taking place in the neighborhood.

Now, we're going to seem like we're singing a chorus line the past month or two about West Girard here, but so it is. When you parlay the conversion of the old historic church, a major project in itself, with plans to redevelop the entire now almost block large vacant parcel on the southeast corner of 27th & Girard into a mixed-use project, and season that with the variety of retail openings and renovations we've covered in recent weeks, you've got real renewal occurring right now in Brewerytown.